Mourinho’s Man United Should Target Fiorentina Winger Federico Chiesa

Manchester United are looking brighter, Jose Mourinho’s side have won their last three games after beating Young Boys tonight in the Champions League.

Those victories don’t completely paper over the cracks at Old Trafford and you’d expect the Portuguese boss will want to recruit a few new faces when the transfer window reopens in January.

A new centre-back will probably be a priority but I’d also suggest a new right winger could do the United squad a world of good.

Youngster Marcus Rashford still doesn’t look at his best when he’s forced to play out on the right flank. Juan Mata does a job but he doesn’t have the pace to really attack full-backs and put them directly on the back foot. England international Jesse Lingard gives you plenty of endeavour but he seems more suited in the hole playing through the middle behind main striker Romelu Lukaku.

With all that in mind, I’d urge Man United’s recruitment team to head to Florence and check-out Fiorentina’s young team. I think right sided forward Federico Chiesa would certainly catch their eye!

Federico has shone for The Viola since he broke into their first team in 2016. The attacker comes come good stock as he’s the son of former classy Italian striker Enrico Chiesa and is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best up and coming footballers.

The twenty year old has been highly impressive in the last twelve months, which has seen him win his first cap for Italy and he’s now earned seven appearances for the Azzurri.

The Fiorentina man has scored ten Serie A goals in his first sixty-seven Italian top flight appearances, not bad at all for a young wide player. Federico does seem to favour cutting in and lashing the ball home when it comes to scoring his goals.

Chiesa posses a great turn of pace and the skills that causes opposition full-backs no end of troubles. He’s also able to use either foot; he can play on either wing and isn’t easy to read. The young, raw talent has good close control and is also keen on a dribble, attempting 139 dribbles in the league last term.

The winger is also able to create chances for teammates. He’s managed to provide eight assists during his burgeoning Fiorentina career. He has developed a very good understanding with The Viola’s main forward Giovanni Simeone.

Red Devils boss Mourinho would also like the fact that the wide-man is tenacious enough to work back and throw himself into tackles, although that sometimes sees the Italian international catch the attention of the referee.

The talented forward won’t come cheap, Fiorentina might be willing to sell their top assets but they no longer need to haggle over the price. They reportedly rejected a €60m bid from Scudetto winners Juventus this summer.

If Manchester United are indeed interested in the young Italian hot-shot then they better act quickly as Chelsea are supposedly ready to battle it out with Juve and Inter Milan for his signature. The list of admirers will only grow as he seems set to continue to showcase his wide variety of talents.

I’d argue that United’s need is greater than the others interested and the twenty year old meets all the requirements that would interest the club’s hierarchy as well as Jose Mourinho. For me, he’d offer them something that they don’t have on the right wing and would be a player that would excite the Red Devils support.

 

Leno’s Arsenal Europa League Adventure Could Be First Step To Unseat Cech

When Arsenal splashed out around £22m for German goalkeeper Bernd Leno it was expected that he’d instantly dethrone incumbent number one Petr Cech.

New Gunners boss Unai Emery has respectfully given Cech his backing and has played the Czech Republic legend in each of his opening five Premier League games.

The Spanish coach clearly has a game plan in mind for his new team and that involves the goalie being able to play short passes from inside the penalty area. Veteran Cech isn’t familiar with that style and he’s looked uncomfortable at times when the ball has been played back to his feet.

Twenty-six year old Leno is more used to being a sweeper keeper. Last season in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen Bernd recorded a 66.7%passing success rate, which was slightly higher than Cech’s 65.4%. Perhaps more significantly, the German internationalist made on average ten passes more per game that Petr.

It’s being reported that the new summer signing could make his debut in the Europa League tomorrow against Ukrainian side FC Vorskla Poltava.

Leno has to make this opportunity count and show that he’s primed to become Arsenal’s longterm number one.

The shot stopper has to use Thursday nights to show that he can be assured on the ball and give the defence added confidence when they too have possession. Czech’s early season mistakes have the fans gasping and that nervousness then engulfs the team.

If Bernd can bring much needed stability to the Gunners backline then Arsenal’s manager will have a tough decision to make.

As I said, Emery has arrived at The Emirates with a clear plan to be better in possession and that includes having a goalkeeper that’s able to clear his lines efficiently with short range passes to teammates.

When the keeper arrived in the summer, Unai Emery said:

“Bernd is a goalkeeper of high quality and experience,” 

“He has been a top performer and regular number one goalkeeper for the past seven years.”

So the Spaniard clearly brought in Bernd Leno to add stiff competition in the goalkeeping department. I understand why the Gunners’ gaffer has decided to keep Cech in between the sticks but the thirty-six year old’s place shouldn’t be guaranteed without question.

Leno might not be overly called upon against Vorskla but whenever he is, the German has to be up to the task and he needs to impress.

If he can shine in the Europa League and Petr Cech continues to make sloppy mistakes with his ball control and passing then I fully expect the torch to be passed on!

 

Man United Need To Spank Young Boys & Lay Down A Champions League Marker

Manchester United will be taking on Swiss champions BSC Young Boys in Bern tonight as they kick-off their Champions League campaign.

The last time United were in European action they limply succumbed to Sevilla and exited Europe’s most elite club competition at the Round of Sixteen stage. Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho can’t allow his team to be anything but ready for this tilt at the title.

Man Utd need to start off well and they need to give their fans something to cheer for, their start to the Premier League season has been pretty mixed and an entertaining, winning start in Europe could be a welcome distraction for everyone at the club.

Now United’s only blemish in the group stages last term came in Switzerland, as FC Basel managed to beat Jose’s men 1-0 at St Jacob-Park. Man United can’t afford a similar defeat to occur this evening.

They come into the encounter after two good away results in the league, so Mourinho and his side do have that to build on.

Top stars like Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku need to turn up and perform. What United really need is a swashbuckling performance that blows away the opposition and makes other teams in Europe sit up and take notice.

The forward line have to create chances and importantly they also need to be ruthless and put away those chances.

In defence, Manchester United have looked vulnerable. The back four need to have a solid outing and show that they can work as a cohesive unit. They’ve so far only managed to keep one cleansheet in their opening five games. In total they have scored eight and conceded eight, that’s simply not good enough!

If Man United want to be taken seriously, both at home and abroad, then they need to start laying down markers and dominating fixtures. They’ve certainly got the personnel to do it.

An issue could be their manager Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese coach is a fine boss and has a fantastic CV but he still needs to find his preferred starting eleven at Old Trafford and get the most out of his squad.

The pragmatic gaffer needs to loosen the leash a little bit, give his side a chance to be more creative and give them licence to go out and attack opponents starting with Young Boys tonight. Maybe just maybe, Mourinho can look at his defensive problems and say that attack really is the best form of defence.

Obviously you can’t treat the Swiss champs likely but you should be thinking that it’s a winnable game and that you can do that with some entertaining football.

Young Boys coach Gerardo Seoane has stated that his team will think about themselves and won’t be overawed by their illustrious opponents:

“We focus on ourselves and of course we’re playing against a very good team. It is a difficult task, but we’ll try to be active. We’ll play with courage. We can’t do that for the whole game, but that is how we want to play,”

In turn, United have to breakdown their opponents and try and boss the match with a high tempo.

With Serie A winners Juventus and Spanish cracks Valencia also in Group H, it could be imperative that Manchester United get off to a winning start in Bern!

Full-back Marcos Alonso Still Shining For Chelsea

Chelsea are flying high under new boss Maurizio Sarri, sitting top of the Premier League winning all five of their opening matches.

Impressively the backline have seamlessly went from a back three to a four and they look just as assured.

They also seem to get the same benefits from Marcos Alonso, the influential Spaniard has moved from the left-sided wing back role to the club’s new left back.

Playing further forward under old gaffer Antonio Conte certainly seemed to work wonders as he produced eleven league goals and five assists in his first two years at Stamford Bridge.

Yet under Italian coach Sarri, Alonso is still able to get forward and get involved in his team’s attacking play. His link up play, particularly with Eden Hazard, is fantastic and his engine to get up and down the touchline is also highly commendable.

The twenty-seven year old is still able to get forward because Maurizio’s playing style depends on them bossing possession and keeping the ball mainly in the opposition’s half. Alonso himself has been more efficient with his passing, his pass success rate his up at 86.7% and that’s with him making more passes too.

He’s already managed to get on the scoresheet during this campaign, in Chelsea’s win over Arsenal, and also has two assists to his name.

While Marcos has worked a bit harder on the defensive side of his game, the stats are still on par with what The Blues have come to expect from the Spanish international. The defender (loosely) does well in aerial duels and he’s also averaging around 1.6 tackles per Premier League appearance, which is slightly up on his stats from last year.

Marcos Alonso gives Chelsea an added dimension in attack when he overlaps. His neat small passes and his crosses into the box are constantly putting opposition teams on the back foot. His eagerness to get involved is also a blessing for his forward thinking teammates, especially in tight matches.

His manager seems to be delighted with the left back’s performances, although Maurizio Sarri also added That Marcos could still improved defensively:

“Alonso, at the moment, this position at left-back is maybe the best in Europe,”  

“Physical qualities at a top level, I think. He’s doing very well in the offensive phase. But I also think he can improve in the defensive phase. If he improves that, he could be the best left-back in the world.”

It’s testament to Alonso’s abilities and his concentration levels that he can be moved to a supposedly more defensive left-back slot and still contribute as much as he does going forward, yet the team still don’t look vulnerable at the back!

If Liverpool Win Champions League Midfield Battle Then They’ll Beat PSG

With Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino on one side and Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar on the other, plenty of people are expecting a high scoring game at Anfield tonight as Liverpool host PSG in the Champions League.

Both clubs have talented German bosses that like to oversee exciting, attacking football and both teams have won all their opening league fixtures. It really should be an entertaining match (let’s hope I’ve haven’t just jinxed it!).

For me, the home side should have the upper hand as long as they win the midfield battle.

The two European giants have favoured the 4-3-3 formation so far this term. In said formation, winning the midfield area could prove vital in gaining the victory.

I think Liverpool edge it in the engine room as they’ve got harder working players.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has very strong options to choose from:

James Milner has been in sensational form at the beginning of this campaign. The veteran always seems to have the energy to run all game, putting in an endless amount of tackles and passes. He’ll press the opposition and won’t give them a minute to think. No player in last season’s Champions League bettered Milner’s eight assists stat.

Club captain Jordan Henderson is another one that gives his all. He keeps the ball efficiently and is another one that doesn’t mind putting a foot in and winning the ball back for his side. The English international is also good in the air and that could be advantageous as PSG aren’t the best in aerial duels.

Dutch internationalist Georginio Wijnaldum is another midfielder that has a strong work ethic. The twenty-seven year old has the ability to get forward and grab a goal. He’s been an ever present in the Premier League so far this term and he’s managed a 92.7% passing success rate in those five outings.

In new signing Naby Keita, Liverpool have another hard worker but the Guinean also has a keen eye for a creative pass. He’s also quick enough to join in counter attacks and become a threat in the last third. The former RB Leipzig man has the energy to get from box to box and that could be extremely important in big European nights.

Liverpool have got another new boy in Fabinho but the Brazilian hasn’t been used yet thus far this term. I’ve stated before that I believe Klopp might use the former AS Monaco man more in the Champions League as he get’s used to life in England. He knows PSG well after his time in Ligue 1 and he offers more defensively. Fabinho is very good at the keeping the ball and a threat when taking set-pieces.

In the opposing team, PSG look at bit frail in that midfield area.

Adrien Rabiot has started this campaign well. He’s winning his fair share of tackles and the Frenchman also possesses a 93% passing success rate. At the moment, Adrien seems to be the main man in the French campions midfield.

Italian international Marco Verratti has just returned to the team and can be another one that makes the team tick but alas the deep lying playmaker is suspended for this tie and will be sorely missed by his teammates.

Veteran middle-man Lassana Diarra has made two appearances during this campaign and he’s still a bit too erratic for my liking. He can commit too many fouls and that usually sees him receiving more bookings than one would like.

Central defender Marquinhos has played a few times in midfield this season and he’s not really convinced. His unfamiliarity in the role has meant that French side have lacked balance.

PSG boss Thomas Tuchel also has a few talented youngsters he can call upon but that could be risky in an environment like Anfield under the lights.

If Jurgen Klopp can get his game plan right, then I fully expect Liverpool to have too much for PSG in the midfield department.

The Reds seem to have the legs, the work ethic and the tactical nous to provide their opponents with some tough questions.

That doesn’t mean that the English side can switch off for a second. One slip up could be pounced upon by Messrs Mbappe, Cavani and Neymar!

It really should be an intriguing and thrilling encounter and I think Liverpool should just about edge it.

Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths Needs To Prove Scotland Point On The Pitch!

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has stated that he’s annoyed that Hearts hitman Steven Naismith has been promised the Scotland number nine jersey by Alex McLeish, for the next UEFA Nations League game against Israel next month:

“It’s a kick in the teeth. Not just for me but for all the strikers.”

“It’s an incentive to work hard at our clubs and try to change his mind.”

“I was surprised as well but these things happen.”

“Naisy came in and did really well. He scored, ran about, and did his job.”

“I was a bit surprised to see he (McLeish) has already selected him for the next game.”

Now I get why the Scotland boss might feel Naismith warrants keeping the starting berth, he worked hard against Albania; scoring one and playing a huge part in the opener as the Scots won 2-0 at Hampden. If a player does well, then it makes sense that they keep their place in the team. Personally, I don’t think he should have said it. A month is a long time in football, by all means keep him in the team but make that decision closer to kick-off.

Who knows what will happen between now and the tie against Israel? Players can get injured and forms can change in that period. Naismith wasn’t even in Alex’s initial squad for those last fixtures!

I can see why Griffiths would feel aggrieved. I’m delighted that he’s added that he will put his head down and prove his point on the pitch. Other players have thrown their toys out of the pram and just quit international football because of similar snubs.

Leigh proved himself in the World Cup qualifiers, when he got the chance to lead the line for the Tartan Army. His two goals against England were particularly pleasing. In total he scored four times, all coming in 2017.

His goalscoring record with Scottish Premiership champions Celtic has been sensational, he’s banged in 100 goals in 191 appearances for The Hoops.

The twenty-nine year old has continually improved under Brendan Rodgers. He’s smarter, fitter, works harder and worked on his hold up and link up play.

The forward needs to come out fighting, he’s yet to score in the league this term and that stat needs to change. Naismith has scored five times in the Premiership for league leaders Hearts and he’s also produced three assists for teammates.

Griffiths also has the Europa League to think about with Celtic, if he scores regularly in that competition against teams like RB Leipzig, Rosenborg and Red Bull Salzburg then it once again proves that he can do it in the tough encounters.

Another thing that the Hoops hitman needs to do is train with distinction when the Scotland training camp starts next month. He needs to shine in front of McLeish and the Scotland coaching set-up.

If he doesn’t start against Israel, then he needs to take his chance if he comes on during the match. He has the pace and the ability to stretch and commit tired defences.

I’m glad that Leigh Griffiths is frustrated about his Scotland snub, I’m delighted he hasn’t gone in a huff and I’m ecstatic that he’s determined to prove his worth. That can only be a good thing for Celtic and Scotland in the long run.

Could Tottenham & Man Utd Swap Toby Alderweireld & Eric Bailly In January?

Recent media reports suggest that Tottenham Hotspur, along with North London rivals Arsenal, could be interested in signing Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly during the winter transfer window.

Spurs could have a march on their neighbours as they could tempt United into a deal with them as they could offer Man Utd experienced defender Toby Alderweireld in return, he’s a player that Man United have been linked with for a long time now.

A swap deal involving the two central defenders could be the right one for all involved.

Bailly, like most of his Red Devils teammates, has had a bit of a ropey start to the Premier League season. The Ivorian has since been dropped by Jose Mourinho. On top of that, rumours circulated that the two had had a falling out last season.

If the United manager no longer trusts Bailly then it’s probably for the best that the defender leaves Old Trafford.

For me, the former Villarreal man is still Man United’s best central defender. He’s got pace to burn, is smart enough to spot key interceptions and he’s good at coming away with the ball from defensive areas and dribbling forward. In his four appearances thus far this season, Eric has a passing success rate of over 90%.

I think injuries and the lack of a stable playing partner has seen him stall a bit at United. I think if he was playing alongside consistent teammates and an experienced head then he’d start progressing again. He could have that reliable partner in Jan Vertonghen at Spurs.

At twenty-four years of age, Bailly is still able to learn and that’s always a big plus for Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.

In Toby Alderweireld, United would be getting an experienced no-nonsense defender that can be reliable in the English top flight and Mourinho has been crying out for such a talent all summer.

On average, Toby has made two tackles per game so far this term. He’s another central defender that’s happy with the ball at his feet and who’s able to pass it from the backline. The Belgian is good at getting in the way and making vital clearances, during the league campaign last term he averaged 3.6 clearances.

The twenty-nine year old will be available for just £25m next summer, if Tottenham trigger his automatic contract extension.

So it could make sense for The Lilywhites to talk about a swap deal involving Bailly, as £25m in the current market probably won’t get you an instant replacement next summer for Alderweireld.

United are no stranger to a player exchange deal, last January they essentially did a swap with Arsenal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan head South and Alexis Sanchez head in the opposite direction. It’s a transfer which saves you money in a fee and that allows you to get rid of a player not in your first team plans.

I think a move that would see Toby Alderweireld and Eric Bailly swapping sides could really make sense and improve each side as they look to solidify their defensive foundations for the future.

 

Crystal Palace Star Wilfried Zaha Has To Take Leaf Out Of Eden Hazard’s Book

Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha was at it again yesterday as his curling strike was enough to seal all three points in an away victory over Huddersfield Town.

After the game the Ivory Coast internationalist fumed at what he thought was rough treatment from the opposition:

“I feel like before anyone gets a red I’d have to get my leg broken or something. That’s why I lose my head,”

“Why am I getting different treatment from other players?”

“It makes you not want to go on a run because someone will come through the back of you, and it doesn’t allow you to express yourself.”

I feel for Zaha hear, as I do believe that exciting forward players don’t get the protection that they sometimes need. You could see on occasions that a defender will be late and leave a foot in as Zaha skips away from them. This happened again against The Terriers and a frustrated Wilfried decided to react and seek his own retribution, which saw the forward receive a booking from the referee.

I don’t agree with Zaha when it comes to him being treated differently to other creative talents. Mohamed Salah gets rough treatment from opponents as does Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard. It’s what happens to players that the opposition teams fear.

For me, Wilfried Zaha needs to look at how Hazard deals with tough challenges and the boos from away supporters.

The Belgian maestro ends most campaigns being one of the most fouled players in the Premier League, yet instead of reacting or getting frustrated Eden almost seems to relish the attention he gets.

When discussing what happens when he gets fouled the Belgium international forward has said:

‘I don’t see the point in reacting,’

‘True, it’s a human response but it is the way I have been brought up. I have been used to taking the knocks. The more I take, the happier I am.’

‘It always makes me want to outdo them but in a football way and I don’t want to make their life a misery by kicking them. I want to hurt the opponent but in terms of the football.’

That’s the thing, you need to punish your tormentors by getting the goals and assists that really hurt them. To be fair, Zaha did that but he also got booked for his foul which came from frustration as I’ve previously said.

It’s actually a compliment that an opposing team and manager pinpoints you as the danger man that can ruin their dreams.

Zaha is a superb talent, who has the skill-set that can kill most teams in the English top flight.

He’s scored three goals already this term and that’s brilliant but he’s also got as many yellow cards and that may worry Eagles boss Roy Hodgson as Crystal Palace can’t afford to see their star man in the stands because of a silly suspension.

By all means point out to the ref that you’ve been on the end of some poor challenges but don’t go out looking for revenge by making reckless tackles yourself.

Wilfried Zaha has the talent that could send Palace into a top half finish and that’s what he should be concentrating all his efforts on!

 

Phenomenal Marouane Fellaini Is A Difference Maker At Manchester United

Manchester United have now won their last two fixtures and it’s eased some of pressure that has surrounded Old Trafford, as the Red Devils are now up to eighth in the Premier League table.

Big Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini has started in each of those away victories against Burnley and Watford.

In fact, Fellaini has been instrumental in United securing those triumphs.

I was unsure when Man Utd re-signed Marouane but Jose Mourinho is a huge fan of the thirty year old and his faith in the Belgian international is already being repaid.

Playing in a midfield three alongside Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba, he gives the United team more strength in the engine room. His positioning and discipline also gives World Cup winner Pogba more freedom to be creative in midfield.

On average he’s making one tackle per game and has an 83.2% passing success rate. He takes instruction well and when he keeps things simple, he can be a delight to watch.

It’s Marouane’s aerial ability that really makes him an influential player in this current Manchester United team.

Fellaini was involved in the opening goal, in the win over Watford, as he kept an Ashley Young free-kick alive with a great first touch one his chest before putting the ball back across goal. The ball would eventually work it’s way back into the box and the chance was finished off by a hard working Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgian international midfielder was then on hand to create an excellent assist for Chris Smalling’s winner. Young hit a deep corner into the back of The Hornets penalty area. The cross was then met by Fellaini (after a majestic leap) and his inch perfect header hit the six yard box and Smiling controlled the ball before thumping it into the back of the net. It was a set-piece straight from the Carrington training ground!

But Marouane Fellaini’s ability in the air and his physicality is equally as important for United defensively as it is in attack.

In their losses to Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur, Man United looked very fragile at the back and it was especially evident as they tried to defend crosses and set-pieces. Fellaini, with his height, is able to win plenty of headers in his own box and divert chances away from David de Gea’s goal.

Against Watford, the six foot four midfielder won five aerial duels. He was also on hand to make three tackles and made an incredible five clearances. Defending at corners and free-kicks has significantly improved with Fellaini’s reintroduction to the team this term.

After yesterday’s victory Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho came out praising his solid foot-soldier:

“Then we go to two matches away, difficult matches. I felt that my central defenders need, especially in this moment of a bit of instability, they need somebody to support them and give them the first wall, physically.

“Marouane is giving us more than that, he is giving that but also quality and simplicity. He is playing simple and well. I’m really happy.”

United have seen marked improvements in various talents in recent fixtures like Smalling, Lukaku, Pogba, De Gea and Alexis Sanchez.

But for me, Marouane Fellini has been a real difference maker as Manchester United look to get their season back on track. He offers something different, has the experience to give assured performances and is a threat in both penalty areas.

Fair play to the man, people keep writing him off but Fellaini keeps coming back and proving himself.

Olivier Giroud Should Be Chelsea’s Main Striker!

Chelsea continued their impressive winning start to their Premier League campaign as they made it five wins in their first five games with a 4-1 home win over newcomers Cardiff City.

Belgian maestro Eden Hazard was once again the darling of Stamford Bridge as he banged in a wonderful hat-trick.

French World Cup winner Olivier Giroud started the game as the team’s main striker but he failed to get on the scoresheet. Yet the former Arsenal man was terrific and showed Blues boss Maurizio Sarri why he should be the Italian’s first choice hitman.

Giroud’s play isn’t all about him getting on the scoresheet and once again today he showed that he can be a superb link-up forward and a perfect target-man.

The thirty-one year old has a terrific understanding with world-class talent Hazard.

Giroud is constantly there to receive the ball from Eden before neatly slipping it back into Hazard’s path. We all know that Chelsea’s number ten adores seeing as much of the ball as possible and Olivier always seems to have the ability to give Eden the right pass into dangerous positions and that’s why the partnership thrives.

Today was the Frenchman’s first league start of the season and his selection instantly paid off as he assisted in two of Hazard’s strikes. He perfectly laid the ball off to his teammate twice and Eden Hazard finished off the two chances. Giroud also set up Pedro, when the Spaniard scored against AFC Bournemouth earlier in the campaign.

After the Cardiff City game, Eden stated:

“Olivier Giroud is a target man – he is probably the best in the world – he is a pleasure to play with.”

That’s high praise indeed but you can see why fellow forwards love playing with Giroud. He’s intelligent and he works ever so hard. The veteran comes deep, keeps the ball, holds the ball up and he is fantastic in the air.

The big striker was Didier Deschamps main number nine during France’s winning run at this summer’s World Cup. Some questioned Deschamps for continually selecting Olivier, the attacker didn’t score a single goal in Russia but it’s his overall play that’s so important for his team.

During the World Cup, Deschamps took time to really praise Olivier Giroud:

“He is important for our style, we need his supporting play. It’s good if he scores but Olivier is always very generous and doesn’t complain about working hard.

“He might not have the flamboyant style but the team needs him even if he doesn’t score.”

It’s also a bit of a myth that the French internationalist doesn’t score. He’s scored 76 goals in 196 English top flight appearances. He’s also banged in 32 times in 83 caps for France; only Thierry Henry, Michel Platini and David Trezeguet have scored more for Les Bleus.

His aerial ability also makes him useful when it comes to making a strong defensive contribution at defending set-pieces.

With Alvaro Morata still struggling to make a real impact as Chelsea’s top forward, I think Maurizio Sarri needs to stick with Olivier Giroud in his starting eleven. He’ll grab you a few goals but more importantly he seems to get the most out of Eden Hazard and keeping the Belgian happy could be paramount as Chelsea try and mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title!